Have you ever seen folks post photos of large plates of just sausage and other meats as part of their keto diet? Personally, single food group meals did not feel satisfying to me during weight loss, so this is my spin. This kielbasa salad meal prep has all of the flavors of Polish cuisine with an even bigger phy
This meal prep is pretty dang tasty, if I do say so myself. You get all of the delicious flavors from a plate of kielbasa and pierogi, without any refined flour. If you skip the potatoes, you get a low-calorie and low-carb meal prep that may help support your goals. (Amazing, right?!?)
Not that I have anything against enjoying pierogi from time to time. My husband has Polish ancestry, and we enjoy a variety of this cuisine’s amazing offerings. It’s one of my favorite international cuisines, to be honest.
But back to the dish. What you have here is garlic kielbasa, garlic-dill roasted potatoes, onions, peppers, farmer’s cheese, and fermented veggies. Everything mingles over a bed of fresh greens and is drizzled with a mustardy dressing.
It is mouthwatering. Am I allowed to post things like this as a dietitian? (Just kidding, of
There are a lot of steps in this kielbasa salad meal prep. Fortunately, there are several shortcuts that you can use to save time. An obvious time-saver is using store-bought dressing.
I used my fermented beets and turnips here, but homemade sauerkraut or store-bought fermented veggies would be wonderful too. If this meal prep feels like too much fuss for lunch, I would not hesitate to make it for dinner.
Of course, the downside of serving it for dinner is that I’d have to share it with my family. Haha
OMG, this kielbasa salad isn’t “perfect” by mainstream nutrition standards!
Hey, I know it’s not. It’s too high in sodium for those following a low-sodium diet and contains some (gasp!) processed meat. Kielbasa salad is also not the best choice for those looking to reduce saturated fat intake.
That said, this might be one of the most delicious salads offered here. And if you were going to have a kielbasa meal anyway, this may be a more health-promoting way to do it.
Like I said in the intro, I often see keto and low-carb folks posting meals that are meat or meat and dairy only. There isn’t really a good reason for most who are following a low-carb dietary pattern to actively avoid all sources of fiber.
There are many foods that are low in net carbs that provide fiber. I recently named a few keto-friendly, high-fiber options in this Health article. Non-starchy veggies, berries, nuts, and seeds are some ways to get fiber in on a low-carb diet.
If you skip the roasted potatoes here, you get a meal that is both low-carb and low-calorie (but still delicious). Using store-bought fermented veggies and dressing, assembling these won’t take much longer than you’d need to heat the kielbasa.
Sometimes the long ingredients list on the kielbasa sold in the supermarket is reminiscent of hot dogs. When I want to have meats that fall into the “highly processed” category, I use it as an excuse to visit my local butcher or farmer. Not only does this help support local businesses, but their foods are also often superior in flavor and quality.
If you live in Connecticut, I highly recommend this Polish butcher shop in Hartford. Pick up some garlic kielbasa for this recipe and consider trying the kabanosy and liverwurst as well. Simply divine!
Added sugars, refined grains, and saturated fats… which is “worse”?
In general, I recommend that folks prioritize reducing added sugars and refined grains over saturated fats. For one, swapping out saturated fats for refined carbs doesn’t reduce cardiovascular risks.
I think this is confusing for the many individuals who assume that plant-based products are always better choices. They are not.
In my opinion, refined grains and added sugars are the biggest fish to fry. The foods that contain these ingredients are often major sources of empty calories (e.g., candy, soda, many baked goods).
The top source of calories in the American diet is grain-based desserts, and the second is yeasted bread. Many individuals overeat these foods at the expense of consuming balanced meals. Focusing on limiting refined grains and added sugar might help a person get a greater portion of their calories from meals.
Yes, grain-based desserts also typically contain added saturated fats. However, saturated fats also naturally occur in healthful foods such as dairy products and meats. Limiting refined grains and added sugars is a better way to reduce empty calories without removing healthy whole foods.
It would be wonderful if there were greater differentiation between “added fats” and “naturally occurring fats.” I believe that would make it easier for consumers to discern which is a better choice.
We already recognize the importance of differentiating between added sugars and the naturally occurring sugars in foods. Soon this information will be provided on all food labels in the U.S. I am hoping similar information is provided about fats in the future.
Olive oil, butter, mayo, etc. are typically fine to use in moderation, but it’s best to aim to get most of your fat from whole foods. Meats, poultry, fatty fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives are some whole food sources of fats to enjoy.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Kielbasa Salad Meal Prep with Potatoes and Mustard Vinaigrette
For the salad:
- 1 T oil of choice
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 medium green peppers, sliced
- 13 ounces Polish kielbasa, sliced diagonally
- 8 c salad greens (I used 2 bags of Trader Joe's herb salad mix)
- 4 ounces farmer's cheese, crumbled
- ½ c fermented veggies (I used my fermented beets and turnips)
For the garlic-dill potatoes:
- 24 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 2 T oil of choice
- ½ t garlic powder
- ¼ t onion powder
- 1 t dried dill weed
- ½ t dried parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the mustard vinaigrette:
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T lemon juice
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ t dried dill weed
To make the garlic-dill potatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix all ingredients on the "For the garlic-dill potatoes" list together.
- Spread the potato mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes. stir them around, and then roast for another 25 minutes.
- Work on the rest of the salad while the potatoes finish cooking.
To make the mustard vinaigrette:
- Put all of the "For the mustard vinaigrette" ingredients together in a jar. Put a lid on the jar and give it a good shake.
- Divide the vinaigrette among 4 dressing cups.
To assemble the salads:
- If you aren't serving the salads right away, it is best to keep the various components of this meal prep separate. I used 4 containers for the leafy greens, 4 dressing cups, 4 glass containers for the items that would be reheated, and 4 little cups for the fermented veggies. (Referring to the picture may be easiest!)
- Warm 1 T of the oil over medium heat in a skillet on the stovetop. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 20-30 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Divide the peppers and onions evenly between the 4 glass containers.
- Warm the kielbasa in the skillet. It only takes about 5 minutes since it is precooked. Divide the kielbasa evenly between the 4 glass containers.
- When the potatoes have finished cooking, add them to the glass containers.
- Divide the leafy greens evenly between 4 containers that have been reserved for them. Top each with 1-ounce of the farmer's cheese.
- Divide the fermented vegetables evenly between the 4 cups that have been reserved for them.
- Pack all meal components in the fridge until ready to use.
To serve the salad:
- Heat the glass container containing the kielbasa, onions, peppers, and potatoes until warm. Put them on top of the leafy greens.
- Garnish the salad with the fermented vegetables and drizzle the mustard vinaigrette over the bowl. Enjoy this delicious salad!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). To get a lighter meal (under 500 calories), skip the roasted potatoes. This move knocks about 200 calories off per serving and makes this dish a low-carb meal. Feel free to add other non-starchy veggies to these salads if you wish. I ended up throwing some broccoli sprouts on mine because that’s what I was in the mood for.
What are some of your favorite foods to accompany kielbasa? Have I smashed any misconceptions you may have had that dietitians are just sitting around eating kale and whole grains all the time? haha Most importantly, tell me if you try this kielbasa salad in the comments below!